Welcomed Feedback From Fellow ESDers

In the first workshop of the KLIV series, we met with some fellow ESDers at Umeå university for our presentation, discussions and questions about the project. Reflections about how we work with sustainability in our different disciplines revealed several different experiences. Teachers from Medicine, Physiotherapy, Geography, Modern Languages, Physics & Electronics and Ethnology took part in this week’s session.

One teacher described their work with changing the language used so as not to perpetuate unsustainable actions. We discussed different ways to unlearn and move towards a more inclusive language approach. Another teacher described their work with different pedagogical approaches and how they have been enhancing the presence of sustainability for the students by small tweaks in the instructions. Improving the methods to which we instruct students help to improve the students’ understanding of learning progression for sustainability competence.

There were also several suggestions for practical activities that can be applied across disciplines and enhance student learning for sustainability. For an example, one teacher provided an interesting workshop idea that is about creating visions and using the back casting method to develop systems thinking. Then the students build strategic thinking for sustainability to plan for the future thinking visions. See a new update on the activities pages, called the Megatrends tool.

A different teacher described a learning activity based on decolonial perspective, where participants learn about how decisions that seem good in one place can cause disastrous effects in other places. We discussed many issues about these wicked problems and found many examples that can be used in the classroom across disciplines. The issue of student anxiety and how to work with emotions also arose. Creating moments when we allow students to reflect on their emotions may not always feel natural for many lecture halls, however simple activities can help students to work with their mindset to create a positive thinking atmosphere in the class. Self-awareness is a central part of intra-personal thinking competence for sustainability.

We also asked everyone what they would like to see on the website. One suggestion was to have a page with suggested texts. I have started a page to provide suggestion for articles, factual books and fiction. One teacher recommended some literature about eco-linguistics and another teacher recommended their own book (only published in Swedish). Anyone can suggest more, so if you have read something interesting and would like to share, contact us. Take a look at the page, here.

Looking forward to seeing you all again and new ESDers too!

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